Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Hateful Burden by Natalie Gibson: Book Review

Hateful Burden: Book Review

Author: Natalie Gibson
Genre: thriller/horror/psychological

A troubled girl brought up in an unloving family environment in a pre-modern era blacks out, only to awake in an insane asylum in a time where modern medicine wasn’t available and cures were more like torture.
So we start this book from the girl’s point of view she explains her home life which isn’t too good a possibly perverted stepfather and a childlike mother. After being told she is ugly because she is growing womanly lumps blacks out. I thought the beginning here ran a little too fast with only minor insights or explanations to begin with. These were soon to be quashed with further reading.
She awakes in West Freeman Asylum for Lunatics, where she’s apparently been for quite some time as explained quite distastefully by Doctor Federick there. She killed her parents which I’ll leave to the readers to find out how.
Here we get quite an insight that she could be quite dangerous as made out, it was around here I started to get absorbed by Natalie’s writing despite the small description at the beginning so don’t let that put you off as I soon realised that was all that was needed. As she explains the girls dire situation and treatment in the insane asylum to great effect.
Though at this point I was still a little detached from the girl as I didn’t know who she was or had much of a personal connection other than her age and apparent bad family life. I felt I would have liked to know her a little better to really appreciate the excellent description of her torture at the hands of the asylums staff.

When the asylum gets an apparent refit the story suddenly spins on its head here and we get that much needed insight but not only that, an actual explanation as to why the story is strangely detached this made me smile no end.
The girl who is telling the story is apparently 232 and some Sally (her better half?) has now told her that she shouldn’t have been telling the story from a retrospective. Talk about turn around I knew from this point on I had at least an above average book in my hands.
When she is later visited in her new room by Judith and Doctor Federicks wife Hester, to which is a surprise to the girl, who now introduces herself as Ramillia, see here comes the connections as Ramillia and Hester chat and they get to know each other we learn about our little protagonist and get our first glimpse there’s more to this than meets the eye, aside from the 232 age thing and Sally of course!

The better treatment we find out is by Ramillia’s distant cousin one Sir Julian Lawrence to whom she was betrothed to many year previous, he’s both rich and a doctor. Ramillia is eventually freed and we follow her adventures as we descend into the macabre and horrific as we learn of carriers and people able to jump into the bodies of others and the touched and Incolas who can do these acts.
In Natalie’s usual style the book does include some mild erotica and rude bits, which I enjoyed as the main girl from the descriptions in my mind at least was reasonably hot.
This is good because as any imaginative reader will tell you it’s the input and the mind that bring these things to life. It’s later again that you learn that this touch power is what started the whole thing at the beginning. To begin with every things quite ok and she slowly learns about touched people and carriers, which I will leave to you the reader to read about.
There’s more to add that Sally is one of them Incolas of some sorts that helps Ramillia in some states, Ramillia can leave her body and Sally takes over to protect her from certain acts that I won’t give away. It seems when we learn that Ramillia is pregnant Julian’s ultimate plans near the end are revealed to make children carriers to which Paetus another touched person we met early on has first claim over.
Ramillia is set against the way she is treated. The book comes to a surprising end in which Sally and Ramillia join as one and they share everything that has happened, giving Ramillia a better control over a power she’s always had.
Ramillia, initially a disturbed child that we find out is part of some master plan later, a good solid main character.
Julian, Ramillia’s distant cousin with designs on her with the touch and part of the master plan, another solid character
Paetus, Julian’s friend also has the touch and in on the plan, didn’t like this guy much very nasty
Sally and Incola that seemingly helps Ramillia

This of course is a mild review of the book I could go into more detail and spoil a whole lot as the book I reviewed was only 103 pages long, so if I go into too much detail I’m sure I’ll give too much away, but I hope you got the gist of it from this review. Also don’t be put off by the way it ends there is more parts to come!
Over all as a start to a series it’s a very good read, I will admit some bits did puzzle me and some bits could be edited a little better but I’m not talking no massive chunks there I mean some lines could just be made a little simpler or something explained just a bit more. I explained some of the things I thought were flaws which then span me around on my head earlier in the review. These are some of the main reasons I enjoyed this book so much just when you think.
Natalie is a budding writer who I have had the pleasure to befriend and for someone who hasn’t wrote a massive amount in this genre and for a first major foray into horror/thriller territory I give her full marks in her effort and hope she better refines this new found skill in future forays into this genre, books which I hope she gives me the chance once again to read and review.

So Natalie as your first steps as an indie writer in this area I salute you and fully recommend this book for a lazy afternoon or two’s reading, yes it has flaws but I can only see this improving over time your book gets a solid four out of five stars and The Horror Nations recommendation

Please I implore you all readers of my fine blog to search for Natalie on amazon like rate buy her stuff so she’s encouraged to write more of this. You can find her on Facebook under Author Natalie Gibson and like etc. and show her your support there

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